I tell my story because I hope it inspires you. Maybe you will relate to some aspects of it and will understand you can make changes to improve your life no matter what your circumstances.
My name is Rachael. I am 36 years old and mum to Ella, 10 and two kittens Milo and Tinker. I live in The New Forest, Hampshire in the UK and life is pretty hectic.
LIFE IS PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW, BUT IT HASN’T ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY.
8 years ago I walked out on my marriage, my partner of 14 years and my home. I was severely depressed and had suffered a breakdown.
I didn’t know where to go, who to turn to or what to do. I promptly spent the next few years partying too hard, spending too much, my diet suffered, I couldn’t work, I comtemplated ending things I was a complete mess!
Prior to my breakdown I had been with my husband for 14 years. We met when I was 17 and were inseparable. We had a great relationship and eventually he proposed New Years Eve Millenium. I was so happy and felt that finally I could live a settled, secure life with the man of my dreams.
A year later Ella arrived and our family was complete. We had just built our new house and we were living a perfect lifestyle.
When Ella was just over a year old. My husband was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. It was a very scary time. I thought I was going to lose him. He was sick every day and I could see him waste away in front of my very eyes. I knew I would put myself forward for donation and so started the rigorous tests and mental preparation for the operation. I was scared for myself, Ella and her dad but just put a smile on my face and got on with things.
After 2 failed attempts we eventually had the operation in April 2008. 28 days prior I lost my grandmother. She was my whole world but she lost her fight to cancer, at home, holding my hand with my family around her. It was the worst day of my life. I can still honestly say I am not over it. I never will be. I miss her so much. At the time though, I had to put my grief in a box and label it ‘grieve later’ I had to stay focussed and get us through the operation and pull my family back together.
The operation took place and it was an immediate success – thankfully.
My recovery was a long one. It was painful and I was exhausted. I don’t know if it was just the operation that exhausted me or the stress leading up to it, the worry that it wouldn’t work or my grief for my grandmother but I crashed big time. It took ages to recover – to this day I suffer with tiredness that can be quite debilitating but I wouldn’t change anything. He’s alive and well and Ella gets to grow up getting to know her dad.
A few months after the operation I became pregnant. it was far too soon and I don’t think my body was ready. I miscarried at 14 weeks. It was of course, horrendous and I was very sad. I wanted a second child, a sibling to Ella and wanted something to look forward too, to feel excited and happy again. A few months later it happened again. I was devastated.
Unfortunately my husband wasn’t able to give me the support I needed, for whatever reason, his recovery was still very much on our minds and he had changed. The drugs had changed his personality. We were drifting apart, I was struggling to cope with Ella, feeling constantly exhausted and sad. In April 2009 I walked. I left my home and walked out of my 14 year relationship.
What followed was years of severe depression and anxiety, financial struggle, feeling empty and worrying about my future.
Eventually I sought help and had counselling and took medication to get me back on track again. I studied mental health and trained to be a Mental Health First Aider. I had to understand what had happened to me. I wanted to educate myself so that when my husband called me weak I knew I wasn’t, I was ill.
I also trained to be a Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Trainer – it was this that was the turning point in my life. Helping others overcome their worry’s and anxieties helped me, and it felt good to be giving something back.
I’ve had my setbacks in the last few years and a couple of years ago suffered another episode of depression and anxiety. I couldn’t work and was struggling, big time, financially. My turning point was when my sister delivered a food parcel because I couldn’t afford to put food on the table. It was the final straw!
IN 2 YEARS …
I have set up my businesses and developed my Vibrant Mum Lifestyle brand. I am happier and stronger than I have ever been and feel positive about my future. I know I can handle anything life throws at me and I am determined to show my daughter that I can achieve anything I want too, so she learns that she can too.
I still have my ups and downs and wobbly days but they are fewer and further between episodes. I know they don’t last forever and I have learnt the strategies to help myself.
Its important to me that I can work from home when I need to so I can rest and shut myself off from the world around me if I need too. My businesses allow me to do that. Lifestyle businesses really are the way forward.
I am paving my success so Ella and I have more time and freedom to do anything we want to do. Its so very important to me to be able to do that. As well as provide a safe, loving and uplifting environment for her.
If you are inspired by any of the above, comment or get in touch! I would love to hear from you!
Remember, Live Vibrantly
Rachael Taylor x
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